The Pretender Episode Guide
A trip down memory lane.
Episode Guide | Indy Show
Teleplay by: Tommy Thompson
Directed by: Chuck Bowman
Original Air Date: 1-31-98
Jarod races into the world of Indy Cars to investigate a mysterious crash. Sydney is shocked to discover that his brother has regained consciousness.
There were many people who went above and beyond to make it happen, from Craig’s brother, Scott, who initiated the contact with sponsors and the Arciero/Wells racing team (who provided us with the two main cars you see, special thanks to Heather Handley), to CART (Championship Auto Racing), to the California Motor Speedway, all the way back to our own crew and a special tip of the hat to Jan Dewitt who did budgetary back flips to make it affordable. It also helps when the executive producers are huge race fans and want to make it all happen!
There were many times it almost didn’t.
We had scheduled for three days shooting at the speedway in Fontana, knowing we needed one of those three days strictly for filming the climactic takedown racing sequence between Jarod and the villain. Day one was raining, so we had to film inside the garages. Day two was terribly windy, and again it was too dangerous to run the cars on the track. If day three was bad weather, we wouldn’t have any racing footage in a racing episode and worse yet, there would be no ending! We were losing our cars, we were losing the track, it was day three or never. We held our breaths and Pretender luck prevailed — Day Three, we raced and got all the footage we needed (did we mention that we had helicopters to deal with as well, so that we could get the in-car camera shots?). Logistically, there were so many places that things could have gone wrong and somehow with hard work and good fortune, they didn’t.
Not to be overlooked in this huge episode, was the touching story of Sydney helping his twin brother to die in peace, with Miss Parker keeping the secret from the Centre. It was the perfect balance.
We’d love to tell you that Michael T. drove his own race car at 200 MPH, but the truth was the two cars at the end were driven by Robby Gordon and Max Papis. Ironically, Robby and Max nearly won separate races on the same day; Max won the CART Portland race on 6/24/01 and Robby finished second in a NASCAR race on the same day.
The actor who played the control room director in the booth was none other than Don Ohlmeyer, the then President of the NBC network, legendary television sports producer/director, and of course, long time Indy car racing fanatic.
Little Known Fact:
We’d love to tell you that Michael T. drove his own race car at 200 MPH, but the truth was the two cars at the end were driven by Robby Gordon and Max Papis.